Office is regarded as the administrative centre of the organization. For rapid, accurate and efficient functioning of office work, machines are needed. These machines are termed as labour-saving devices because the use of machines encourage time-saving and labour-saving. Mechanization of office denotes the process whereby office machines and equipments are introduced in the office with a view to aid administrative processes. Now-a- days machines form a part of the “means” aspect of office management and have a greatest bearing on the efficiency of office work. Most of the business houses largely depend on machines because business units thrive in the competition by saving cost and increasing profitability. Mechanization has been introduced because of the following reasons:
(a) The use of machine aims at labour saving in terms of wage.
(b) The use of machine aims at saving in time because the work can be done in no time in comparison to manual operation.
(c) The use of machine facilitates accuracy in office work because the work done by machine is more accurate.
(d) Repetitive works are monotonous and this monotony is relieved by the use of machines.
(e) Machine helps to minimize the chances of fraud in office work.
Advantages of machines
Mechanization has become an integral part of modern office administrative process because machines have number of advantages. These are :
1. Saving in Labour
The use of machine help the business in saving labour which can be applied effectively to other activities.
2. Better Quality of Work
The use of machines make office work to be more systematic and neat. Thus, the quality of work is improved because of machines.
3. Better accuracy
Machine ensures accuracy in office work because the bottlenecks and delays in work are eliminated and the work runs smoothly. The chances of errors and frauds are reduced on the use of machine.
4. Greater Efficiency
The use of machine facilitates completion of work in time. The works which took hours to complete are done within no time with the help of machine. The timely completion of work increases the efficiency of the worker which in turn helps increased profitability. .
5. Relieves Monotony
Repetitive works are monotonous, boring and time consuming. Monotony in all routine work is reduced because of use of machines. The mental tensions on work is relieved because of use of machines.
6. Standardization of Office Routine
Standardization of routine and procedure is facilitated by the use of machines. It facilitates better co-ordination of work.
7. Minimisation of Cost
The operating cost per hour is decreased because of the use of machine. Mechanization helps saving in labour and increased output. Though the initial investment on machines are large, it reduces cost of operation by increasing output.
8. Better Communication and Increased Prestige
The use of machine facilitates better communication and co-ordination. The provision of better communication and co-ordination increases the prestige of the organization.
Disadvantages of Machines
Although the use of machine ensures a great deal of advantages, they are not free from limitations. The disadvantages of machines are summarized below :
1. High Capital Outlay
The installation cost of machines are high because it involves huge amount of money. It ensures blocking of large part of capital and it becomes beyond the capacity of small firms to go for mechanization.
2. Limited Utility
Machines are purchased for some definite purposes and can-not be used for other operation. So the use of machine has limited utility.
3. Risk of Obsolescence’s
Some machines are liable to become absolute when a new machine is put into operation. In this case the huge investment on the old machine becomes bad and it incurs a great deal of loss to the firm.
4. Worker’s Resistance
Workers are hostile on the introduction of a machine and they resist mechanization because of fear of loss of employment, promotion and other facilities.
5. Surplus Staff
Mechanization requires additional staff to be maintained. When one operator will go on leave the other additional staff is required to operate the machine. This involves spending of a lot of money.
6. Breakdown Cost
The cost of breakdown of a machine is heavy to the organization. It will cause a considerably disruption in office work on account of breakdown.